Sanjay Subramanian’s choice of kritis showed his penchant for presenting rare songs and ragas.

Featuring the concerts of two veterans the same evening saw the Sabha members take their best efforts to seat rasikas who came in for the second concert.

The sound sans any amplification was truly acoustic. Sanjay Subramanian took time to settle during the Ata tala varnam in Kalyani. Thereafter it was evident that he meant business. Annaswami Sastri’s ‘Sri Kanchi Nayikay’ (Asaveri- Rupakam) was at a leisurely pace. This and the next one that followed showed Sanjay’s penchant for presenting rare kritis and ragas in his concerts. The 30 in Melakartha chart, Naganandini, was refreshing. Sanjay did full justice to this vivadi ragam. ‘Saththalaynee Dinamulu’ (Tyagaraja- Adi) saw him meander into kalpanaswaras that were flooded with raga’s content.

Special mention must be made about Thanjavur Ramadoss who adopted an entirely different approach laying stress on ‘Sowkhiyam.’ With deft touches he caressed and cajoled both the sides of the mridangam to raise the concert to the next level. His tekkas on the right side with accent on nadai added colour. What more can a singer ask for perfect sruti alignment?

Sanjay’s portrayal of Sahana showcased how he could manipulate his voice to bring out the biku-sukhu of Carnatic music. Every aspect of this raga was touched by Sanjay at a lively pace. Nagai Muralidharan followed suit except that at few junctures his landings were either flat or sharp. Sanjay’s special attachment to Gopalakrishna Bharati was evident in his emotional rendering of ‘Thillai Ambalathaanai Govindaraajananai.’

The toast of the evening was Bhairavi. Sanjay delved deep into the raga and brought out its beauty, which was a real aural treat. Elongated rests, lengthy sancharas, sangatis with mathematical permutations marked his delineation. Dikshitar’s ‘Bala Gopala’ was a fitting climax for the alapana and so were the kalpanaswaras with inflections on the raga than kannakku.

Ramadoss and Venkatramanan (ganijira) presented a thani that was full of lively exchanges. RTP in Amrithavarshini was set to tisra triputa talam. The raga segment was replete with akharas. The cut notes and the jumps were only too precise. The ragamalika towards the end comprised Khamas and Kapi. Tyagaraja’s Divyanama Kirtanai in Yadhukulakhambodi, ‘Sri Rama Jayarama,’ soaked in bhakti, was the end piece.

(This writer happened to see an English speaking rasika chiding the organisers for their lack of coordination. Does not Carnatic music listening call for more disciplined behaviour? The empty seats were kept reserved by placing whatever the neighbour could grab, ranging from cell phones to hand bags and handkerchiefs. At one corner it was real fun when a rasika spread his hands and legs to the left and right akin to Ulagalanda Perumal’s pose at Kanchipuram to keep the empty seats intact for his friends arriving late. This scramble proved a blessing in disguise for this writer who slipped into a quiet corner.)